WhatsApp already offers access to one of the biggest mobile messaging networks in the world for the low price of just $1 per year, but now the company has plans to offer voice calls as well. Fresh of the news of a $19 billion acquisition by Facebook, CEO Jan Koum announced plans to offer free phone calls through WhatsApp as soon as Q2 2014 while speaking at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.
“We are driven by the mission that people should be able to stay in touch anywhere and affordably,” Koum said. “Our goal is to be on every mobile phone in the world.”
WhatsApp already includes the ability to send voice messages, but adding voice calls could be a real threat to carriers who’ve already taken a hit on SMS profits thanks to free and cheap messaging apps. However, Koum noted that he’s been “working with carriers,” suggesting that some telecom giants may be ready to embrace the new app.